Forget the steak, this recipe is all about the red wine sauce. It’s lick-your-fingers good. Bread soaking good. Wipe your entire plate good.
I think that this red wine sauce is magical, just like Glamour’s Engagement Chicken that supposedly triggers engagements across the world.
It was November 2010 when I gave this recipe a try. I was skeptical and nervous since I hadn’t mastered the art of cooking steak to the perfect temperature, nor had I ever made a wine sauce. Alas, I was brave on that chilly November night and Mike (my future husband, boyfriend at the time) was over my apartment for dinner and a movie.
He took one bite and looked at me wide-eyed, nearly speechless and muttered, “This is amazing!” Two plates, with hoards of sauce poured over his steak and a loaf of Italian bread later, we sat comatose on my couch. Sure the steak was good, but the sauce was ah-mazing!
About a month later on December 11, 2010 he proposed in front of our entire family at his surprise birthday party that his Mom and I organized. I was completely and utterly shocked, as you can tell in the pictures below. In the first picture I’m confused asking him, “But this is your surprise party?”
Could we have an Engagement Red Wine Sauce on our hands? Perhaps!
- 5 or 6 tablespoons of butter
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 1/2 cups red wine (I use Barefoot Pinot Noir for this recipe)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pound flank steak (or, whatever steak is on sale and looking good to you!)
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until tender (about 5 minutes).
- Add garlic and oregano and saute for another minute.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly to make sure the paste doesn’t burn.
- Whisk in the wine and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces to about half (about 10-15 minutes).
- Whisk in remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and simmer for another 3-4 minutes. If the sauce isn’t thickening enough for you, add extra 1 tablespoon of butter.
- Strain the sauce over a bowl, pressing the solids to extract as much of the sauce as possible. Discard the solids. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper to your liking. Keep sauce warm.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pan or skillet. Generously sprinkle the steaks with salt and pepper.
- Cook steaks to desired doneness (about 8 minutes per side for medium rare). Remove from skillet and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Transfer steak to cutting board and thinly slice it along the grain. Drizzle the red wine sauce over the steaks and serve with fresh Italian bread.